Let’s play word association: Buffoon.
If the first thing that popped into your head was “Chris Matthews,” you probably watched the Republican presidential debate last night. Among the questions Matthews posed to the candidates:
“Should we change our Constitution… to allow men like Mel Martinez, the chairman of your party, born in Cuba, great patriot, senator from Florida, and Arnold Schwarzenegger to stand here some night?”
“Governor Romney, what do you say to Roman Catholic bishops who would deny communion to elected officials who support abortion rights?”
“Governor Gilmore, you know Karl Rove and you’ve worked with Karl Rove. And — is Karl Rove your friend? Do you want to keep him in the White House if you get elected president as the president’s chief political operative?”
“Seriously, would it be good for America to have Bill Clinton back living in the White House?”
While he ate up time probing for the candidates’ views on the natural born citizens clause, asking a Mormon to comment on Catholicism, making an oblique inside-baseball reference that went over the heads of 99% of viewers (Gilmore was reportedly pushed out after a year as chairman of the Republican National Committee because of a feud with Rove), and uncovering the shocking news that Republicans don’t like Bill Clinton, Matthews never asked about education policy, Social Security reform, Syrian meddling in Lebanon and Iraq, or any of at least a half-dozen other important issues that the next president will face.
The next time that the candidates are invited to a debate moderated by Chris Matthews, they should respond the same way that Mitt Romney did to the Clinton question: “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
There was another presidential debate this week: In France the Socialist Segolene Royal faced off Wednesday against the Gaullist Nicolas Sarkozy in advance of Sunday’s run-off election. Sarkozy is nicknamed “Sarko,” which sounds like the kind of handle that Palpatine would come up with in the third act of Star Wars: Revenge of the French — “Henceforth, you shall be known as Darth… Sarko” — which is somewhat appropriate, given that some on the French Left have more or less dubbed him a Dark Lord of the Sith, though they use such synonyms as “Nazi” and “neocon.”
In the context of French politics, this means that he advocates vaguely free-market policy reforms, tighter immigration restrictions, and a very marginally less anti-American foreign policy. Royal, meanwhile, seems to be running on a platform of compassionate vacuity. During their debate, Sarkozy asked her to “give me figures” on her proposal to fund increased welfare spending and pension benefits with new taxes on business. “My tax will be at the level necessary for social justice,” said Royal (as translated by the Times of London).
“That’s a stunning piece of detail,” Sarkozy responded dryly. “Can’t you give us a figure?” Royal admitted that she can’t. Oh well; at least she looks good in a bikini.
Is John Paul Stevens a menace on the road? His peculiar dissent in Scott v. Harris, handed down this week, makes one wonder. The case turned on whether or not a jury trial was required in a lawsuit filed against a police officer by a driver who fled the police and was paralyzed when the officer ran him off the road to end the high-speed chase. The court ruled 8-1 in the police officer’s favor, and, in a first, posted a video on the Supreme Court website to support the ruling. The video shows that the fleeing driver was a danger to others; thus, ruled the majority, running him off the road was not a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights and the officer is entitled to a summary judgment under the doctrine of qualified immunity.
Stevens doesn’t see it that way, and thinks the other Justices — whose average age is 66 — must just be too young to understand that zigzagging all over the road and whizzing around dozens of cars is no big deal: “Had they learned to drive when most high-speed driving took place on two-lane roads rather than on superhighways — when split-second judgments about the risk of passing a slowpoke in the face of oncoming traffic were routine — they might well have reacted to the videotape more dispassionately.”
You can watch the video and judge for yourself, but I for one will be running in the other direction if I ever see Justice Stevens get behind the wheel, just in case he gets a little too dispassionate about passing a slowpoke.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Joseph Hammond
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Emma Elliott Freire